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Saudi Arabia to send ground troops to Syria

Published: February 6, 2016
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Saudi Arabia said it was ready to send ground troops to Syria to fight ISIS“The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against ISIS) may agree to carry out in Syria,” said Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri during an interview with al-Arabiya TV news.

Saudi sources added that thousands of Saudi Special Forces could be deployed, probably in coordination with Turkey.

NBC News reports that Saudi Arabia and Turkey set up a military coordination body a few weeks ago.

Saudi Arabia was among the first Arab countries to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. The coalition launched its first attacks against ISIS in September 2014, and the Saudi Air Force took part in some of these attacks. Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the campaign against ISIS diminished after it began its own campaign, in March 2015, against pro-Iranian rebels in neighboring Yemen.

As was the case with other Arab members of the U.S.-led coalition, the Saudi contribution to the war against ISIS diminished when it became clear that the U.S. campaign against ISIS was not part of a broader campaign to remove President Assad from power and replace his regime with a Sunni-majority government.

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